Pakistan Security Brief
The Pakistani military says it now controls eighty percent of the Mehsud areas of South Waziristan Agency; a total of eleven Pakistani military personnel were killed in two separate incidents in Mohmand Agency on Wednesday; the town of Charsadda goes on strike after the death toll from Tuesdays bombing rises to thirty-two; US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says that she believes Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is secure and reaffirms the close relationship between the two countries.
The Pakistani military reports that it now controls over eighty percent of the Mehsud areas in South Waziristan. Contrary to a statement made by Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Azam Tariq, the military sources say that there has been little to no resistance from militants in the last couple of days. Security forces have uncovered a number of bunkers, weapons caches, and even a private jail in Bangal Khel (click here for more detail on operation in SWA).
Nine members of Pakistan’s security forces were killed in an explosion in Mohmand Agency on Wednesday. The attack targeted a military convoy as it travelled on a road near Ghallani town. One civilian was also killed in the explosion. Two other soldiers were killed when armed militants attacked a checkpoint, also in Mohmand.
As the death toll from Tuesday’s bombing in Charsadda rises to thirty-two, people are holding a strike protesting the lack of security provided by the government and to mourn those killed in the attack. The strike was enacted by trade unions and market associations in the Charsadda. Prime Minister Gilani released a statement saying that “we are fully committed and this is our resolve to eliminate terrorism completely."
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she was confident that Pakistan is capable of keeping nuclear weapons safe from militants. In an interview with a German magazine, she said “the nuclear arsenal that Pakistan has, I believe is secure. I think that the government and the military have taken adequate steps to protect that.” She also used the interview to express that she believes that the United States and Pakistan have a good relationship and the Pakistanis are committed to routing out the Islamic extremists.